Anger's in Wright place, Ottawa

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:28 AM ET

Be angry, Ottawa. Be very, very angry. This morning, you have every right, and there are numerous targets worthy of your wrath.

There's bigger (we'll get to later) but there certainly is Bernie Glieberman, who almost 11 months ago fed you a bunch of crap about being here for the long run, about having all sorts of money to lose, if that's what it took to right past wrongs and make the Renegades a successful CFL franchise.

As someone who sat in the front row of the press conference and both understands and likes the Gliebermans, I lapped it all up.

And now I want to puke.

Part of me can't blame Bernie for bailing. He likes the CFL and bought a team for a son who absolutely loves it. A toy? Maybe. Is that wrong? I don't think so. If I had Bernie's bucks, I'd get my kid anything he wanted.

Ultimately, Lonie would have made the franchise self-sufficient. (Unless you're buying me a beer, we're done with that debate).

What went wrong is that Bernie listened to two consultants (Phil Kershaw's and John Lisowski's names have to be on this list) who told him Lonie had to go, told him his good friend Forrest Gregg (the GM) had to go and told him he was going to lose between $4-6 million.

He listened to them, as well as those who told him the team wouldn't win more than three games this season, and he treated the words as though they were gospel.

Disappointing to those of us who thought he was so much smarter.

When Bill Smith (who also deserves a share of the blame) told Bernie he wasn't putting any more money into the team, well, that was the camel.

It all happened so quickly, the demise of the latest football franchise in Ottawa.

A month ago, Bernie was primed to pay Doug Flutie $1 million to quarterback his team. Three weeks ago, he was negotiating with the agent for Eric Tillman, who he ultimately would have paid $200,000 a season to be his GM.

But then the wind changed directions a few times and Bernie, who has more more dollars than you and I combined, decided that his word wasn't going to be worth as much as his millions.

Still, he offered the CFL a plum deal to keep the Renegades going: Bernie would take care of the first $2.5 million in losses, require a league loan for the next $2 million, then pick up anything over and above the $4.5 million.

And now we get to the real culprits in this crime: Tom Wright and the rest of the CFL.

The Renegades would be alive today for a loan, that would be personally guaranteed, of $200,000 from each team.

Why did Mr. Big Bucks need the help? He didn't, really, obviously, but if the ship was indeed sinking, Glieberman didn't want to feel like the only man on it.

Okay, so commissioner Wright and/or the rest of the league's deep thinkers no longer wanted any part of Bernie. That's clear.

ALBRECHT DISMISSED

Foggy is why Dean Albrecht, who travelled from Florida to Toronto to meet with the league about his interest in Ottawa late last week, was so quickly dismissed.

Because Albrecht's dad is the legendary (off the wall) J.I., the league likely put him in the same category as the Gliebermans. That he left his meeting with Wright believing the CFL already had a new owner for the Renegades suggests that he wasn't given proper consideration.

Wonder who else got blown off by the league? Me too.

So here we are, sports fans. On the heels of a sunny Sunday that you must have enjoyed while watching The Masters and your barbecue, and now you're now seeing your pro football team (that you lost for six years in the late '90s) go down the toilet again.

You're also listening to promises from this joke of a commissioner and a league about a search for a new owner, and their hopes of a re-launch in the nation's capital for 2007.

Right now, you have to feel like you should be so lucky if they come up empty.

Unless or until the CFL gets some firm leadership -- and Wright certainly does not fall into that category -- its best they leave Ottawa alone.

And even if they do smarten up, it's perfectly understandable if you tell them to kiss your ass next time they come calling.


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